Today I am going to brave the waters and talk about my own personal writing! (Something I rarely ever do here on the blog).
So I have this story... okay, book... that I've been working on, on and off for probably about three years. (Wow. It sounds really intense when I say that. Trust me, it's not.) I'm now onto my third draft, although I haven't actually started it yet. I've read over the second draft probably four times (probably more), and had people comment on it and help me by pointing out things they were confused about or needed to fix (especially Elle - she is the awesomest!).
That's when I came to the point of having absolutely no idea how I should fix all of the problems. It just seemed way too overwhelming, with all of the stuff that needs to happen, throughout each part of the book and each scene. I wanted certain characters to be spotlighted more, and certain friendships to develop but how could I just change all of that? How in the world could I change everything? I couldn't even comprehend how it could work.
I don't know where I got the idea, but one night about a month ago I just started writing down what was happening in each scene. I wasn't writing the story, I was just writing a very in-detail description of events. I guess you could say I was just telling. The other helpful thing about doing this is that this book of mine is in first person. I'm writing the outline in third person, so I can write out what other characters are thinking or feeling or the MC's subconscious motivations behind his actions and thoughts. This is SUPER helpful, because then I know exactly what's going on under the surface of what I'll actually end up writing. I'm telling first, showing later.
I've never really done much serious outlining before, because how-tos on it on other blogs just don't appeal to me. This is definitely working, because I can tell the ENTIRE story, working out plot details and character development along the way, but I don't have to do the work of writing an entire draft and having to go back and fix it.
How do you outline, if you do? Or how do you fix a mess of problems in your drafts?